3.5 stars (out of 4)
“Slaughterhouse” (In the Red) is the fourth album the ultra-prolific Ty Segall has released in the last 18 months, and it’s the best of the bunch. Each of his projects could be characterized as a low-fi variation on garage and
Segall indulges in guitar-based rock at its dirtiest, noisiest and nastiest. "Death" ends in a feedback storm. The vocals on the title track are essentially an increasingly agitated series of screams. A 1965 Fred Neil song, "That's the Bag I'm In," which has been covered by numerous "Nuggets"-era garage bands, is mutilated, Segall wailing like a troll assailing passersby from underneath a bridge. "Muscle Man" blows up surf music, and "Wave Goodbye" dives into the murky depths of primordial metal before revving up a machine-gun riff.
And, yet, Segall plants plenty of hooks inside the shrieks and spasms. The conflicting impulses playing out in "Slaughterhouse" suggest a comic-book war for supremacy: Good vs. Evil, Light vs. Dark, the Left Side of Segall's Brain vs. the Right Side of Segall's Brain. He's got a soft spot for '60s acid-pop jangle and bubblegum bounce, as evidenced by "I Bought My Eyes" and "Tell Me What's Inside," where the melody fights chaos to a draw. "Fuzz War" wraps things up with 10 minutes of ghost-like drone, a fitting aftermath to the short, sharp bursts of carnage that precede it.